Detecting bot traffic can be done by analyzing all the traffic to our website. Whether that is from a website, a mobile app, or an API, to detect and block the bots. Spotting this bot traffic is crucial in preventing attacks of crime or fraud of our website’s information. It will also help to avoid breakdowns or slowing down our website. Some bot activities can cause content scraping, financial fraud, trigger fake ad clicks, and many other malicious activities. It is said that about 40% of all traffic data is bot traffic. To spot bot traffic and prevent it from hurting our websites, we must understand what bot traffic is.
What Is Bot Traffic?
Bot traffic can be any non-human traffic to a mobile app or website. Bot traffic can come off as a negative association, but it is neither negative nor positive. The purpose behind bot traffic and whether it can help or hurt us is based on the meaning of the bots and how they interact with our website. Some bots can be helpful for search engines, and many companies encourage these bots on their websites: (Siri, Alexa, etc.). These types of bots do not seem as harmful and may actually encourage traffic to our site in a positive way. On the other hand, some bots are malicious and can be detrimental to our website. These bots can cause data or content scraping and fraud and be a nuisance to our data by creating high traffic spikes and fake ad clicks.
How Can I Spot Bot Traffic?
Bot traffic can be detected by looking at the data on Google Analytics and understanding where the bot traffic is coming from and its purpose. Below are some examples of how you can spot bot traffic to your website.
Abnormally high bounce rate
A bounce rate is the percentage of users that come to your website and leave without interacting with it. A regular bounce rate can be anything from 50-60%. That said, if you notice an abnormally high bounce, that is a good indicator of bot traffic. An unexpected bounce rate increase compared to last month’s data can also be a good sign that it is from bots.
Abnormal amount of page views
Similar to an abnormally high bounce rate, if you notice a sudden, abnormal spike in page views, the odds are that it is from bot traffic. There could be many other cases where there is a significant increase in page views on your website, such as a press release about the business or a social media post linking to that page. But more often than not, a high increase in page views that seems abnormal is coming from bot traffic.
Unexpected high or low session duration
Session duration is the amount of time a user stays on your website. A normal session duration can be anywhere from 2-3 minutes, depending on what the user is looking for or trying to get out of your website. If you notice an unexpected increase in your session duration, it could be due to bots staying on the site at a slow rate. On the contrary, an unexpected decrease in your session duration could also be a bot rapidly clicking through pages and articles on your website.
Another way to spot bot traffic is to look at your conversions. If you notice you have lots of contact forms filled out during sleep hours with fake names, fake addresses, and phone numbers, it mostly comes from bots. These can easily be spotted with fake email addresses or hard-to-read text that does not make sense. If you’re noticing lots of these conversions, there is an excellent chance that you are experiencing bot traffic.
Learn More About Bot Traffic With Boston Web Marketing
At Boston Web Marketing, we are the search engine and website professionals! We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for ways to get help spotting or preventing bot traffic. We work with industries all over, helping them achieve higher search results and maintain a positive reputation. We work to build websites for businesses that will generate conversions and sales. To get started with our SEO or website services, call us at 857-526-0096.